Genes necessary for C. elegans cell and growth cone migrations

Wayne C. Forrester, Gian Garriga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

106 Scopus citations


The migrations of cells and growth cones contribute to form and pattern during metazoan development. To study the mechanisms that regulate cell motility, we have screened for C. elegans mutants defective in the posteriorly directed migrations of the canal-associated neurons (CANs). Here we describe 14 genes necessary for CAN cell migration. Our characterization of the mutants has led to three conclusions. First, the mutations define three gene classes: genes necessary for cell fate specification, genes necessary for multiple cell migrations and a single gene necessary for final positioning of migrating cells. Second, cell interactions between the CAN and HSN, a neuron that migrates anteriorly to a position adjacent to the CAN, control the final destination of the HSN cell body. Third, C. elegans larval development requires the CANs. In the absence of CAN function, larvae arrest development, with excess fluid accumulating in their pseudocoeloms. This phenotype may reflect a role of the CANs in osmoregulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1831-1843
Number of pages13
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 1 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Axonal outgrowth
  • C. elegans
  • Canal associated neurons
  • Cell migration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology

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